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Fully automated NYC dumpling shop opening first Vancouver location

A "zero human interaction"-style dining experience is coming to Vancouver
NYC-based automat concept Brooklyn Dumpling Shop has secured two Metro Vancouver locations, both anticipated to open later in 2024.

A popular New York-based dumpling restaurant that is entirely grab-and-go, clerk-less, and automated is gearing up to debut its first location in Vancouver.

Brooklyn Dumpling Shop will open its inaugural Vancouver outpost of its "zero human interaction"-style dim dum dining experience at 488 Robson St, a representative tells V.I.A. by email.

The franchise takes over the space from Food Republic, which opened in April 2023 and offered a "high-tech food court" service, bringing four restaurant brands into one space with multiple computerized features, including a salad-making robot. (Operator NextGen Kitchens did not respond to a request for information regarding its closure.)

In late 2022, Brooklyn Dumpling Shop signed an international multi-unit deal to bring the popular dumpling concept to Vancouver.

The brand, which is headed up by founder Stratis Morfogen - whose family got their start in the restaurant industry with diners - partnered with global franchise business Fransmart to grow BDS.

Brooklyn Dumpling Shop's first Canadian location opened in Calgary in February. A second Calgary location is already nearing its opening date.

In addition to its Robson Street location, Brooklyn Dumpling Shop has secured a space at 4190 Lougheed Hwy in Burnaby in a new shopping development. 

Modern 'automat' has self-serve dumplings, sides, and desserts

Here's how Brooklyn Dumpling Shop works: where the dishes are essentially set up inside "lockers" you open up after paying to retrieve your selection. The model is a modernization of the "automat," the famous self-serve cafeterias that were wildly popular in Philadelphia and New York City in the early 1900s. 

Breaking onto the scene in the early months of the pandemic in mid-2020, Brooklyn Dumpling Shop first made waves by heralding that the future of dining could be contactless - particularly in the face of lockdowns and health-based restrictions. Its first location debuted in NYC's Manhattan (not Brooklyn, actually) about a year later, and drew acclaim for having round-the-clock stock of dumplings in a variety of flavours, including cheeseburger, Reuben, and even peanut butter and jelly dessert dumplings. 

Vancouver can likely expect to see popular BDS dim sum (and then some) flavours on offer, along with an array of potstickers with or without broth, peanut noodles, waffle fries, and ice cream cups. They also sell mix-and-match meal combos and kids' meals. 

Getting the Vancouver and Burnaby Brooklyn Dumpling Shop locations open will depend on permits and construction timelines, but the franchisee's representative says they are hoping to be open later this year.

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